Dear brothers and sisters,
This weekend concludes our multi-week series on discipleship: Sharing faith with others. How many people do you know who have left the Catholic faith for a non-denominational Christian church? Most likely, they were invited by someone. Invitations are really powerful, and can be life-changing. In Luke 15:1-7, it is clear that God cares more about the one lost sheep than the 99 others in the flock. God values and cares about the lost, and moreover, God wants us to join in the search. Imagine that you are at Dorney Park, and one of your three children gets lost in the park. You would be entirely focused on that one lost child. That is how God is, and God needs our help.
We would like to change our church culture by a simple strategy called “invest and invite.” Most of us are hesitant to talk about our faith because we don’t want to be put in an uncomfortable position, for example talking about faith to strangers on the bus. You don’t need to be put into an uncomfortable position. However, every one of us can invest in one person in your life who is struggling, confused, angry, depressed, and maybe doesn’t care about God or church. Take that person to coffee, dinner, etc. and when the opportunity comes, invite them to church. Our hope at St. John’s is to create a culture where that person can be welcomed on the journey to discipleship. This is what church should be designed to do – but we need your help. Is God calling you to the step of sharing faith with others?
Tell about a time when someone invited you to do something that you really enjoyed doing. Or tell about a time when you wouldn’t have done something unless you had received an invitation, but you appreciated the invite?
If you ever invited someone to church or to your small group, tell about how that invitation went? If not, what prevents you from inviting others?
How do we know that God values those who are not coming to church? What are we to do about this?
Who is that one person that you will invest in? Share that name with your small group and how you will invest in that relationship. Your group can revisit this topic in the future and hold you accountable.
How important do you think the “timing” of your invitation is? What’s a good time to invite someone? When do you see those opportunities?